Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Ritvik System Is Authorized (Sattvic Dasa)

Recently a devotee objected to the validity of the Ritvik system based on the following contentions:
1) SP would introduce a totally new system to the parampara, and
2) if somehow Krishna wanted this introduced, then SP surely would have given us extensive instructions on how to do it and what it means. He did neither.
This is my reply:

Dear prabhu. Hare Krishna. By your own logic Srila Bhaktisiddhanta also introduced something 'New" in the Parampara.
1) He asked his disciples to form a GBC, something that no other Acharya in our parampara has ever done and
2) He did not ask any of his disciples to initiate but to work under the direction of the GBC and wait for the "Self-effulgent" Acharya to manifest.

Both these ideas were totally unprecedented and therefore were not accepted by his disciples, albeit for the same reason the GBC did not accept Srila Prabhupada's order on intitations. (Not traditional). They (the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta disobeyed his order and created chaos in the Institution. The Gaudiya Math broke into many factions and each disciple became an acharya thus disintegrating the Institution he worked so hard to build.
Srila Prabhupada did the same. He formed a GBC and did not ask any of his disciples to initiate but to act on his behalf. These are the facts.
Introduction of different means to carry on the work of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the prerogative of the Acharya. The Acharya, being a Nitya Siddha, is in direct contact with the Lord and he receive instructions and is thereby authorized by the Lord to accept way and means by which the Parampara is maintained. They make tradition as the meaning of tradition is a time-honored practice or set of such practices which starts at some point, a custom to be carried on through generations or until some other tradition is created.
There is no change in the principle of the Parampara but the details differ from one Acharya to the next. Srila Prabhupada did give us extensive instructions especially when the GBC asked for guidance on what to do about initiations 'especially at a time when he was no longer with us'. He sent a document to all the officers of his Institution directing them to follow the system of initiations he adopted for his Institution. How more extensive instructions do we need to convince us that Srila Prabhupada, knowing he was about to leave this miserable world, did in fact establish the system of initiations to be carried on until Sri Krishna makes arrangements for carrying on the Parampara?
When did we question Srila Prabhupada about whether what he introduced in Iskcon was indeed "traditional"? Can you imagine what he would have said to such an audacious fool?
Yet, on this count (Ritvik initiations) the GBC decided to question the validity of the order and rejected it because it is not traditional.
Was chanting 16 rounds traditional?
Was giving brahmana initiation to westeners traditional?
Was giving brahmana to women traditional?
Was allowing women to worship the deities in the temple traditional? The list goes on and on.
There is no plausible reason not to follow the order of the spiritual master because "It is not traditional".
The repercussions of the offense committed are there for everyone to see. The Hinduization of Iskcon, the continuous falldown of anointed gurus by a disobedient GBC, The fragmentation of Iskcon into feudalism. Gurus having their own separate Institutions, The Gopi bhava club and..... where do we stop?
Your servant
Sattvic Das.

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and My spiritual master, Isvara Puri, are completely independent. Therefore neither the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead nor that of Isvara Puri is subject to any Vedic rules or regulations."
(CC Madhya 10.137)

"No. Tradition, religion--they are all material. They are also all designation."
(SP Conv., March 13, 1975)
"Our only tradition is how to satisfy Vishnu."
(SP Lecture, July 30, 1973)

In addition to ISKCON’s current guru system not having any order from Srila Prabhupada to justify its existence, the GBC’s official “brain”, the “Sastric Advisory Council” (SAC), has said that the process by which it does authorise gurus, via voting them in, is not based on “guru, sadhu and sastra”:

“Our present system has institutionalized a process of senior devotees voting or offering no-objection to prospective gurus. But we do not find that this institutionalized blessing seeking process is mentioned by guru, sadhu or sastra as the way that one is authorized to become a guru.”

(Balancing the roles of the GBC and the disciple in Guru selection, SAC)

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